In a couple of weeks it will be Keith's birthday. When I asked him what he would like as a present, he insisted that he didn't want anything.
Fast forward to yesterday, when I spent the whole day in the shop being tortured by the sight of his jacket. It's a nice jacket normally, a warm, casual jacket that keeps out the cold during winter. The problem now though is that, since his accident, he has been dressing 'casually' rather than in the suit that he normally wears and 'casually' seems to mean keeping his jacket on all day. But the REAL problem is that, as he keeps it on all day, it is now full of stains. In fact, if Keith were to take it off and leave the door open, it would leg it to the cleaners down the road before you could say 'Jack Robinson.'
So this morning, off I went in search of a new jacket for Spring which could double up as a surprise, early birthday present. On the phone at lunch-time, I mentioned that I had bought him an early birthday present.
"Ooh, something I can eat?" he asked.
"Something I can drink?"
"Oh." The disappointment in his voice was almost tangible.
He liked it when he saw it though.